UPDATE 1-Qatar Airways says A350 delivery on schedule; plans order in Dubai

Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:08am EDT
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* Akbar Al Baker says A350 to be delivered in H2 2014

* CEO says will order more planes in Dubai

* Says not offered the Boeing 777X yet

By Amena Bakr and Praveen Menon

DOHA, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Qatar Airways, the launch customer for Airbus's A350, expects the European planemaker to start delivering the aircraft by the second half of next year and plans to order more planes next month, the airline's chief executive said on Tuesday.

The Gulf carrier has ordered 80 A350 jets.

"We are confident that Airbus will deliver the A350 by the second half of 2014," Akbar al Baker said on the sidelines of an event to mark Qatar Airways' entry into an airline alliance.

His comments were in line with Airbus's programme chief Didier Evrard, who had said earlier that the aim was to deliver the lightweight aircraft in the second half of 2014.

The A350, designed to compete with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and the larger Boeing 777, staged its maiden flight in June. Airbus now has two aircraft flying and has notched up 75 flights and over 370 hours of flight tests.   Continued...